Please Note: this information is from last year's Institute. Save the date: the 2013 Writers' Institute will be held April 12, 13, and 14.
What's New and Good at the 23nd Annual Writers' Institute
Hi, I’m Laurie Scheer, your Writers’ Institute director. The Writers’ Institute Conference has always been an informative, fun, and inspirational event that provides writers with up-to-date information about their craft, the publishing industry and current trends in writing. This year’s conference is all about achieving and enjoying “Happy Writing!” and to that end we have created some events that we hope you’ll attend and discover something new and wonderful about writing and your writing life.
New This Year
KEYNOTE SPEAKER SEMINAR RETURNS (Friday at 9:30AM)
We have invited John Vorhaus to be our keynote speaker to kick off our 23rd Annual event. John is an author and international writing consultant. He is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and a member of the Writers Guild of America. He has taught writing at Northwestern University and the American Film Institute, and lectured for such disparate groups as Mensa and the New Jersey Romance Writers Association.
His keynote address is entitled “The Writer’s Life”, a workshop that assists writers in seeking to close the gap between the writer you are and the writer you intend to be-an appropriate way to begin our three day conference.
“INSPIRED IDEAS” FORUM (Friday and Saturday)
For those that want a change of pace from our hour plus seminars, or if your short attention span suddenly kicks in at the end of each of our main days, we are offering a new forum called “Inspired Ideas”-an hour and a half of back-to-back mini seminars-a total of 5 per session-featuring some of our exceptional speakers addressing hot topics in 15 minute sessions all united by the same theme. Be sure to check it out.
GENRE LUNCHEON (Friday at 12:30PM)
You’ll have the opportunity to be seated at designated tables featuring your writing genre, i.e. there will be tables for Romance, Mystery, Literary fiction, memoir, nonfiction, etc. There you can network with other writers writing in your genre. Additionally, as promised from last year’s conference, I will celebrate the writers who have had success stories in the past year. Please note: There is a separate fee for this luncheon. If you choose to bring your own lunch, you are still invited. There will be seating available at the side of the room.
BOOK SIGNING EVENT (Saturday at 10:50AM)
We want to recognize our writers’ hard work during this year’s conference and so we’re going to allow writers to sign their books and for their fellow writers to celebrate those books during a book signing event to be held in the Lee Lounge. Show your support for our writers! Treats will be served.
Returning From Last Year
PRACTICE PITCH SESSION-GENERAL (Thursday night only)
By overwhelming demand, we are bringing back the Thursday Night Practice Pitch Session. This event is FREE (yes, free to all who sign up for all three days of the Writers’ Institute) and will take place on the eve of the conference, Thursday 4/12/12 at 5:30. Settle into Madison’s charm and head on over to the Lowell Center where my amazing colleagues and I will conduct a group Practice Pitch Session. Receive feedback on your pitch (this is especially important for those of you who are pitching first thing Friday morning at the conference), gain confidence, and be ready to excel with your official agent pitches. This event is a good way to break the ice and move wholeheartedly into this year’s event. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to hone and define your perfect pitch!
PRACTICE PITCH SESSIONS-PERSONAL (Friday through Saturday afternoon)
Next, we are again offering continuous opportunities for you to practice your pitch through Practice Pitch Sessions. These very affordable sessions ($10, you sign up when you register) will allow for 15 minutes of one-on-one meeting time with our experts. Deliver your pitch, receive feedback, continue to perfect your pitch and then see your agent and/or editor and provide a stellar pitch. No need to be nervous (or at least these pitch sessions will help put you at ease just a bit).
PUBLISHING IN THE POST-PAPER WORLD (Sunday at 11:15AM)
Today’s publishing world is a classic bad news/good news proposition for writers. The bad news is that fewer and fewer publishers are buying books, even from authors with decent track records. The good news is that available technology puts publishing in the hands of every author. John Vorhaus will appropriately end this year’s conference with a look towards the future. Plan to be here for this lecture; it is one that is ‘not to be missed’.
So I hope you will partake in as many of these new and good events we have scheduled for the 23rd Annual Writers’ Institute. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (608) 265-3972 or email@example.com with any question - no matter how small. I look forward to meeting all of you and working toward some new and exciting writing horizons. And to all writers I say “Happy Writing!”
– Laurie Scheer, director, 23nd Annual Writers’ Institute